I had a hankering for chocolate chip cookies the other day so I went online and jotted down the first recipe I came across. The usual ingredients were all present and it looked pretty standard and straightforward, thus giving me no reason to worry. Alas, my blind trustworthiness bit me in the posterior. The cookies were neither chewy nor crunchy, but spongy instead, resembling madeleines more than chocolate chips. Searching for crispness, they went back in the oven, but all I got were cookies that tasted overcooked.
I revisited chocolate chips a few days after the above-mentioned flop, but this time I proceeded with caution and sought a recipe from a more reliable source, Dorie Greenspan, a.k.a. Queen of All Things Baked. For those of you unacquainted with Ms. Greenspan’s work, please, acquaint yourselves! She authored “Baking with Julia” (as in Julia Child), as well as “Baking: From My Home to Yours,” from where I extracted “My Best Chocolate Chip Cookies.”
Following please find the adapted version. I opted to use peanuts in lieu of the more traditional walnuts or pecans because A) I’ve never had a chocolate chip cookie with peanuts, B) I had a can sitting in my pantry begging to make itself useful, and C) when I’m really desperate for an after dinner treat, I fill a teacup with bittersweet chocolate chips and peanuts (following a ratio of about 3 chips per peanut), a sort of deconstructed Mr. Goodbar if you will – and decided it would be great in cookie format.
Anyhow, without further ado, here are Dorie’s just-right cookies.
MY BEST CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
Adapted from “Baking: From My Home to Yours” by Dorie Greenspan
2 C. all-purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 C. granulated sugar
2/3 C. light brown sugar
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, cut into chunks
1 C. chopped walnuts or pecans (*or peanuts!)
-Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place rack in center.
-Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper (not wax paper!).
-Whisk together flour + salt + baking soda.
-In the bowl of a stand mixer beat butter on medium speed one minute till smooth, then add both sugars and beat an additional two minutes, till well blended.
-Beat in vanilla extract, followed by the eggs, one at a time, beating approximately one minute after each addition to ensure complete incorporation.
-Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture in three portions.
-Mix in chocolate and nuts.
-Spoon the dough by slightly rounded tablespoonfuls on the baking sheets, leaving about 2” between them.
-Bake one sheet at a time, rotating halfway through baking, 10 – 12 minutes.
-Cool on rack.
NOTE: Always start cookies on a completely cool baking sheet. I know, it can be time-consuming if you don’t have stacks of sheets, but c’est la vie.
If you don’t want to bake everything at once, put your bowl of dough into the fridge for about half an hour, then plop it onto a piece of Saran wrap. Shape the dough into a log (à la Pillsbury supermarket cookie dough) and wrap tightly. Next time you want a cookie, simply cut inch-thick slices and bake.
Save extra dough for a rainy day.